On June 15, 2018 more than 50 participants gathered for the third SMEMBA – Networking and Career Event with small and medium-sized enterprises that took place at the Düsseldorf campus of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. Seven companies from different industries followed the invitation of Professor Dr. Christina Günther, IHK – Chair of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, and WHU’s MBA Career Center.
The well-proven concept of the event combines multiple purposes to create a win-win situation for all parties involved: raising the awareness of Hidden Champions among MBA students as attractive employers, giving international MBA candidates a platform to present themselves to German company representatives and triggering the vivid exchange between both groups. The following company representatives participated in 2018: Sebastian Schäfer, CEO at M+C SCHIFFER GmbH, Dr. Johannes Erning, Head of Finance and Accounting at HARIBO GmbH & Co. KG, Dr. Jörg Schwall, Managing Director at Kalzip GmbH, Christian Satzek, Head of Strategic Procurment at Stabilus GmbH, Jörg Borkowsky, Head of Coporate Development at Steuler Services GmbH & Co. KG, Francisco Jurado, Corporate Strategy at Vorwerk & Co. KG, Johannes Kutschka, Strategy & Business Excellence at PHOENIX CONTACT.
“We are very thankful for the huge commitment from company side that we have seen and of course we are especially happy to also see WHU MBA Alumni in the ranks of the company representatives”, says Prof. Dr. Christina Günther, “sharing their real life experiences and their passion for what they do, makes them true ambassadors for the German Mittelstand”. Various formats from keynote speech via panel interview with company representatives and alumni talk to a classical career fair part created an agenda with plenty of room for knowledge exchange as well as for personal interaction.
In addition, MBA students attended a workshop hosted by Prof. Günther on “SMEs as employers: Discover your potential with Hidden Champions” in the morning and presented their results in the afternoon. Their creative ideas about future jobs, ideal companies, environments and the strength of MBA candidates resulted in very inspiring discussions. Miriam Kraneis from the Career Center emphasizes “we believe strongly that German SMEs and international MBA students can benefit very much from each other and we are convinced that the yearly SMEMBA event offers great opportunities for both sides to discover this potential”.